What to Look for in a Divorce Attorney?

Posted by Michael HillerDec 28, 20170 Comments

The first thing is look for an attorney who's not known to run to court every single moment anything happens.

You're going to need some protections, but you also need someone who can think a little bit. Many times, instead of a protective order, we've gone to court, and gotten a petition for extraordinary relief granted. Then we have gone to mediation.

In mediation you're not with that person in the same room-that's very important to a person who has been abused but you're also not going to court to get a protective order, which can not only cause you tremendous anxiety, but  destroy your spouse's career, and so forth and so on. The biggest hurdle for a protective order is to prove that the abuse is likely to happen again. Unless the abuse is severe or has happened multiple times, there are ways to protect somebody without an all-out battle in court. You should look for someone who has a balanced approach, even in litigation.

The other reason to not run to court is that it can be expensive.

You should look for an attorney with Collaborative Divorce experience. It is a process designed for both of you to have professional advice throughout the case.  The way it is preferably done is multidisciplinary where you bring in a therapist to help work on the children's issues and sometimes even to run the meetings. Then you bring in a financial person to help go through the finances. You should look for someone who could make it ideally, a collaborative divorce. Our office does innovative things that we talk about in other blogs. However, bottom line you should look for someone who isn't just ready to go to court every time.

In a perfect world, if every judge was fantastic, on time, and able to hear your case that day, you'd probably save money. You could go to court to get temporary orders, everybody get along, and nobody fight over silly things. That might be more efficient and less expensive.

But that's not the real world. In the real world, you can get to court, the judge is sick or in a trial, or the other lawyer has 10 other things scheduled in that day. Then you go back and do that same thing seven times over. So, you should look for a lawyer that is more flexible in their approach, either collaborative divorce or someone at least willing to go mediation quickly.

There are always some instances where you're really going to need a litigation attorney. Particularly if there has been physical or emotional abuse.  In that case you will want an attorney that is experienced in the courtroom, but again someone with a balanced approach who won't necessarily insist on an all-out battle from one hearing to the next.